Solipsism Gradient

Rainer Brockerhoff’s blog

Browsing Posts published in October, 2005

Re: Ciao Italia

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Posted by Rainer Brockerhoff (away):
We’re now comfortably established at Romy and Claudio’s Bed & Breakfast in the Lessinian hills north of Verona – we’ve stayed here last year too, and it’s an excellent deal. (Unfortunately, their site works in Italian only, but there’re lots of links on Google if you’re interested.)

So far we had a nice day in the mountains and another one in Venezia. Photos have come out better than last year’s, so I’ll definitely post some after I get back. Tomorrow we’ll probably visit the market in Verona, then on Sunday it’s off again to the second cruise – this one will make the round trip from Venezia to Greece, Turkey and Croatia. Stay tuned.

Re: Ciao Italia

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Posted by Rainer Brockerhoff (away):
I’m at the cruise terminal in Savona, where we just got off the ship. There’s not much time, but I’ll have the opportunity to post more later in the week; all is fine otherwise. We’ll now get the rental car and drive to Verona, which will be our base for the next 5 days. More later…

Re: Ciao Italia

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Posted by Rainer Brockerhoff (away):
At an Internet Café in Funchal (Madeira). It’s ?3/hour – contrasted to ?30/hour on ship (!). I’ve got 986 e-mails in the queue to skim over…

So far everything has gone very well. It’s been 10 years since we last visited Barcelona and we took the opportunity to see more of Gaudí‘s works; last time we had missed a few. Highly recommended; I’ll post pictures when we get back.

Morocco was something of a disappointment. Casablanca and Marrakech had little new to offer, since we’d already visited Tunisia and Egypt in the past. But Agadir was very interesting, the city has been entirely rebuilt after an earthquake in the 70’s.

The Azores were the highlight of the trip so far. We visited Lanzarote, Teneriffe and Madeira. Each one very different from the other. Lanzarote is mostly flat and covered by lava from an eruption in the 18th century; there’s little vegetation and most of the water is obtained by desalinization. There are lots of not-very-high (600m) volcanoes. Noted architect, painter, sculptor and architect César Manrique personally designed and built several restaurants, monuments and tourist attractions; all extremely worth visiting. We pretty much covered all of the island by bus.

Manrique also did some monuments for Teneriffe, which is a completely different type of island. The mountains are a little higher and much older, and are covered with trees which condense the mist; the resulting “horizontal rain”, as they call it, is collected into the underground water table and tapped by wells. We visited the northern part of the island in a 4×4 jeep; the southern part is supposed to be less inviting, though. The capital Santa Cruz is very modern and crossed by a broad (and very steep) highway, and there’s lots of good shopping. Teneriffe is the only place in the European community with no VAT, so prices are inviting.

Funchal on Madeira was different, again. It rained a lot in the morning and the mountains are much higher – up to 1800m. They’re covered with forests and the water from there is piped down to the cities over a complex network of canals; the largest canal even has a small hydroelectric plant on it. This island is Portuguese (unlike the previous two, which were Spanish) and the differences in building style and culture are noticeable.

Tomorrow we’ll have a day of rest and then will visit Malaga (Spain) before returning to Savona. More from there…

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